Other types of ventures are on the Greater Boise Auditorium District's radar screen, whether it's expanding or renovating its existing Boise Centre, a small theater in Downtown Boise or even a sports and events stadium. Or maybe it's something no one's thought of yet.
Whatever projects the district chooses must have a legitimate chance to turn the 6-percent tax the district collects on hotel bookings into an economic benefit for Boise, board member Judy Peavey-Derr said.
Last month, the board voted to reconsider its position on pushing plans for a new, 150,000-square-foot convention center on "Parcel B" - a Downtown lot between 11th, 13th, Front and Myrtle streets.
Peter Oliver was appointed to replace board member Gail May, who resigned in December. A cofounder of commercial real estate firm Thornton Oliver Keller, Oliver brings an entrepreneur's background to the board.
"It's a blessing and a curse," he said. "It's a blessing because you go out there and get stuff done. But it can be a curse when you get your blinders on and don't look around and say, 'Hey, you know, if I got that group involved, or this group, all of us together could maybe do more.' "
A collaborative style is exactly what Oliver wants the auditorium district to embrace. Instead of the district working on its own projects, while partner agencies - city government, the city's urban renewal agency and other potential partners - do separate work, all of the agencies should cooperate on a connected set of goals, he said.
The board's ideas for the best use of its resources haven't always meshed with what the city and other agencies thought, said Boise City Councilman David Eberle, who serves on the urban renewal agency's board.
SMALL PROJECTS ...
Some officials questioned the auditorium district's resolution, in March 2012, that named Parcel B the only location under consideration for a new convention center. At least one study suggested Boise doesn't need as big a convention center as the district was proposing, Eberle said.
As 2012 progressed, new ideas for different types of projects and potential locations for a convention center surfaced. Board members began to question the wisdom of the March resolution, Peavey-Derr said.
Peavey-Derr and Eberle said they're intrigued by the ideas of a small theater Downtown and other small projects, because they might bring Boise more bang for its buck than larger projects.
... AND BIG IDEAS
On the other side of the spectrum is a multisport stadium that could serve as a venue for Boise's minor league baseball team, a possible minor league soccer team and other sports and special events.
While such a venue would doubtless give the whole Treasure Valley a cultural boost, Eberle said, it might not be effective at spurring economic development.
At this point, the district hasn't settled on a specific proposal, Peavey-Derr said.
"We haven't thrown around anything yet," she said. "We're just trying to get our feet on the ground because we've been so focused on a convention center."
Sven Berg: 377-6275